ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ The Tampa Bay Devil Rays reassigned highly regarded prospect Josh Hamilton to their minor league camp and optioned right-hander Matt White to Triple-A Durham on Tuesday.

Hamilton, the No. 1 pick in the 1999 draft, didn't figure to make the opening day roster unless he was going to play every day. And White, one of the organization's top pitching prospects, has been battling control problems.

``I knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when,'' said Hamilton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 amateur draft. ``It was getting frustrating. It was taking too long. I just wanted to get it done and go down and play.''

Hamilton, who was 0-for-1 in Tuesday's 9-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals, hit .226 with no homers and 6 RBIs this spring. He likely will begin the season at Double-A Orlando.

White spent most of camp working on throwing mechanics after struggling in an exhibition against Notre Dame. In his only appearance against major league hitters, he faced six batters and did get any out _ allowing four runs, two hits, walking one and hitting the last three batters with pitches.